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  1. #1
    3db
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    Related to the S2 Studio20 post

    I threw a comment in there where I fail to understand why some listeners didn't like a neutral speaker. Pat D came back where he witnessed people preferring colored speakers over those that were neutral. I guess to each their own..But this got me thinking,, If a speaker is so accurate and so neutral, I could see alot of existing recordings start to irritate listeners due to poor recording quality. So suddenly, "the collection" has shrunk considerably.

    a.) Has anyone expereinced this?
    b.) If the answer to a is "yes", where you able to reconcile yourself to just listen to the music for music's sake rather then listen to "definiton, coloruation, accurcay"
    c.) has down grading to a less accurate speaker become an option so that you could get the 'collection" back again?

    Just curious

  2. #2
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    When I upgraded to my current speakers I noticed several poor recordings in my collection that I didn't notice before, but I also heard more things musical that I hadn't heard before. The recording is what it is. Sometimes a remastered version can take care of the flaws. A flawed recording, however, doesn't always ruin good music. But, why look backward? Go forth and buy more good well recorded music!

  3. #3
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    I threw a comment in there where I fail to understand why some listeners didn't like a neutral speaker. Pat D came back where he witnessed people preferring colored speakers over those that were neutral. I guess to each their own..But this got me thinking,, If a speaker is so accurate and so neutral, I could see alot of existing recordings start to irritate listeners due to poor recording quality. So suddenly, "the collection" has shrunk considerably.

    a.) Has anyone expereinced this?
    b.) If the answer to a is "yes", where you able to reconcile yourself to just listen to the music for music's sake rather then listen to "definiton, coloruation, accurcay"
    c.) has down grading to a less accurate speaker become an option so that you could get the 'collection" back again?

    Just curious
    Spendor's are famous for this. They are a very forgiving speaker and their nature is to sound great with a wide variety of material/sources. Personally I think this approach is at least reasonably intelligent and quite possibly brilliant. I don't think I'd consider this approach downgrading either, just a different tactic. I have neither the time nor the inclination to listen to as many speakers as others but I'm not entirely positive I've ever heard a speaker that would be universally acclaimed to be neutral. I don't know for sure, I may have and it's quite possible that I dismissed it as boring and uninvolving.

    Regards,
    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  4. #4
    Audiophile Wireworm5's Avatar
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    In my brief audition of the S2 compared to the studio 20's. I found what I believe was an mp3 disc used for the demo, the S2 revealed more simbilance compare to the 20's. This made the mp3 more unpleasant to listen to. So yes a more accurate speaker would prevent me listening to recordings. Which is one reason I chose the 20's over the S2. Also I wanted the 20's because they better matched my other studio speakers.
    But having neutral speakers such as the studios without being too revealing. I find even with bad recording the music is more enjoyable. Plus if you want colored sound its easy to add that in with tone controls and soundfields.

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    I went to a workshop on studio design last night. It was a pretty enlightening evening, but one thing that was said stuck out in my head. The guy basically said to design your studio and mix for surround, even if it means using DSP. His reasoning was that most audio equipment sold today has DSP on by default. Of course people have been mixing for FM forever, and I'm sure they've been mixing with DSP in mind for awhile too, but where is the reference point. What DSP are they mixing for? If listening to a cd mixed for DSP in straight stereo are you getting a colored sound? Is the album going to sound better with DSP? A colored speaker could have the same effect. Many albums are mixed for mainstream users using mainstream equipment, so using high end equipment will reveal the coloration put into the mix.

    This probably isn't a new thing at all, I just never thought of it before. I wonder what percentage of albums I own were actually mixed for straight stereo, which I listen with.

  6. #6
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    Another thought on neutrality. If your goal is to replicate the atmosphere of a recorded environment, any coloration is bad. Period. So most albums use uninvolving methods of recording, they're going to sound uninvolving on a very high end speaker. The details that give a recording a sense of space/atmosphere/environment will sound amazing on ultra high end speakers, but may not be clearly detectable on even very good speakers.

    I for one, tend to like very analytical speakers. I can also look past really bad recordings, in fact I love many really bad recordings! To me hearing and knowing how the album was recorded can add meaning to the music. That being said, I own Studio40s. They're great, and most stuff sounds great through them, but I can't say that I would prefer them over a more accurate speaker.

    Another thought: why would anyone looking at even mid-fi equipment base a speaker purchase on how mp3s sound through them? I know people actually pay money for them, but what a joke. If the music is good, the whole album will be good. Buy the album. Mp3s are no replacement for physical media. They are a fine compliment, but not a replacement.

  7. #7
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db

    a.) Has anyone expereinced this?
    b.) If the answer to a is "yes", where you able to reconcile yourself to just listen to the music for music's sake rather then listen to "definiton, coloruation, accurcay"
    Just curious
    If I am listening to speakers and noticing its imaging or soundstaging or sound rather than noticing the music then I won't be buying those speakers - i expect that those aspects of music reproduction will be comeptantly handled and mostly it is. The reason so much attention is focussed on two or three things to the exclusion of the other myriad of things in music replay is that that is largely all that the major speaker makers can offer up. If I have to buy speakers I have to turn up to make things out, and if the only good things I can mention is that I get the same kinda sound whether I sit dead center or 30 degrees off axis then that to me is like beiung impressed by a car that starts and will actually move forward at 4 kph. I am not wowed by this.

    I don't buy the argument that A) if your speakers ruin most of your music collection that they are "more accurate" - Certainly that may be the sales pitch used by dealers and magazines to hock junk for high dollars but after a while I would far rather have speakers to listen to music all day on -- and yes there are many weak recordings but they for the msot part should not be highlighted and blown out of proportion. Most of it is perception which is subjective -- some people will hear a speaker that I hear as bright fatiguing etchy and not the least bit accurate in the treble AT ALL -- and they call it detailed and neutral.

    It's just not worth the discussion or the endless threads on which is more accurate - it's just another male penis size argument.

  8. #8
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    Each audio upgrade I've made has improved the listening pleasure of my well-recorded music and degraded my pleasure listening to poorly-recorded selections. I try to replace most poor recordings with better ones. Ones that I can't replace, but love are simply endured - though not without some regret. A few selections now collect dust on the shelves. Others have changed media between CD and LP. And a rare few have become "in the car only." But while the library has suffered some losses, it's grown not shrunk. I continue to add to it, so it's more accurate to say it's just changed over time. As there's always more music I want than I can actually buy, I've also learned to be more selective in the choices I make when buying new music to help future-proof myself.

    For me the enhanced pleasure of listening to quality recordings on better speakers far outweighs the "joy" of listening to bad recordings through comparatively flawed gear. I simply can't "go back". Instead, I'm fueled with the desire to continue upwards to discover what additional listening experiences I'm missing and am willing to trade-off what, in reality, is a small portion of my collection each time.

  9. #9
    3db
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    Slow down slick..your making a whole lot of assumptions here.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    If I am listening to speakers and noticing its imaging or soundstaging or sound rather than noticing the music then I won't be buying those speakers - i expect that those aspects of music reproduction will be comeptantly handled and mostly it is. The reason so much attention is focussed on two or three things to the exclusion of the other myriad of things in music replay is that that is largely all that the major speaker makers can offer up. If I have to buy speakers I have to turn up to make things out, and if the only good things I can mention is that I get the same kinda sound whether I sit dead center or 30 degrees off axis then that to me is like beiung impressed by a car that starts and will actually move forward at 4 kph. I am not wowed by this.

    I don't buy the argument that A) if your speakers ruin most of your music collection that they are "more accurate" - Certainly that may be the sales pitch used by dealers and magazines to hock junk for high dollars but after a while I would far rather have speakers to listen to music all day on -- and yes there are many weak recordings but they for the msot part should not be highlighted and blown out of proportion. Most of it is perception which is subjective -- some people will hear a speaker that I hear as bright fatiguing etchy and not the least bit accurate in the treble AT ALL -- and they call it detailed and neutral.

    It's just not worth the discussion or the endless threads on which is more accurate - it's just another male penis size argument.
    a.) Most speaker manufacturers design their product with the goal of achieving all the important details that make a speaker sound good. Not just 3 like your asssuming. You've become obsessed with the thought that most big speaker companies cannot design a good speaker and that the listening public as a whole wouldn't know a good speaker if they tripped across one . Thats just BS. To your ears , you may not like the sound. Thats fair. But you are in the minority as most people prefer the sound from companies such as PSB, Paradigm, Axiom, B&W, Klipsh, Polk, etc.

    b.) I've listened to a CD last night, Mozart's Flute, Obeo and Clairenette concertoes. I know this CD like the back of my hnad. I played it for the 1st time thru my PSBs and I've heard details in the music, I've never noticed before. So yes a better quailty speaker will reveal things that a poorer qauilty speaker will not. It has nothing to do with magazines at all, another one of your obsessions. And I never said that speakers that "ruin" a recording must be a more accurate speaker. Hell one of those big ghetto blasters can do that for a lot less coin. Agian your twisting a simple statement around. Stick to the question and leave your biases out of it.

    c.) And lastly, you must be suffering from penus envy cause my thread was not about which manufacturer makes the most accurate speaker. It was about accurate speakers that reveal flaws in the recording and how one handles his/her options in dealing with this.

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Right you are, Lensman

    Quote Originally Posted by Lensman
    Each audio upgrade I've made has improved the listening pleasure of my well-recorded music and degraded my pleasure listening to poorly-recorded selections.
    ...
    For me the enhanced pleasure of listening to quality recordings on better speakers far outweighs the "joy" of listening to bad recordings through comparatively flawed gear. I simply can't "go back". Instead, I'm fueled with the desire to continue upwards to discover what additional listening experiences I'm missing and am willing to trade-off what, in reality, is a small portion of my collection each time.
    To what you say I can only added that I have occasional found that a recording is better than I though after upgrading. That was because what I had take to muddle or hash was, in reality, detail that my previous equipment could not resolved.

    Admittedly though, it is more common that what I though were decent recordings are revealed to be lacking on detail or dynamics. Too bad for them! They go for the yard sale.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    If I am listening to speakers and noticing its imaging or soundstaging or sound rather than noticing the music then I won't be buying those speakers - i expect that those aspects of music reproduction will be comeptantly handled and mostly it is. The reason so much attention is focussed on two or three things to the exclusion of the other myriad of things in music replay is that that is largely all that the major speaker makers can offer up. If I have to buy speakers I have to turn up to make things out, and if the only good things I can mention is that I get the same kinda sound whether I sit dead center or 30 degrees off axis then that to me is like beiung impressed by a car that starts and will actually move forward at 4 kph. I am not wowed by this.

    I don't buy the argument that A) if your speakers ruin most of your music collection that they are "more accurate" - Certainly that may be the sales pitch used by dealers and magazines to hock junk for high dollars but after a while I would far rather have speakers to listen to music all day on -- and yes there are many weak recordings but they for the msot part should not be highlighted and blown out of proportion. Most of it is perception which is subjective -- some people will hear a speaker that I hear as bright fatiguing etchy and not the least bit accurate in the treble AT ALL -- and they call it detailed and neutral.

    It's just not worth the discussion or the endless threads on which is more accurate - it's just another male penis size argument.
    I think you're confusing the debate of 'what is accuracy' with the question can accuracy be a bad thing. The assumption is that one can discern what is and isn't accurate.

    My opinion is that accuracy is a good thing, but then again...I don't buy that if accurate speakers 'ruin' a recording for you that A) you know how to appreciate music and B) the recording was any good in the first place. It shouldn't really matter what you're listening through. The source material is the important thing, not the method of reproduction. If someone prefers a colored reproduction, that is fine. I just don't see how a more transparent reproduction could possibly ruin a piece of music, since that is the way whoever recorded it meant it to be. Then again, maybe it isn't.

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    I didnt like the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170. These are suppose to be "accurate" speakers.

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    I also want to add that a good speaker to me makes almost EVERYTHING sound better. Meaning everything from old Metallica, to the best recorded classical music. Im not sure if this is possible but this is what I would consider a good speaker. I dont want to adjust my musical preference based on recording quality bleh.

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacchanal
    I think you're confusing the debate of 'what is accuracy' with the question can accuracy be a bad thing. The assumption is that one can discern what is and isn't accurate.

    My opinion is that accuracy is a good thing, but then again...I don't buy that if accurate speakers 'ruin' a recording for you that A) you know how to appreciate music and B) the recording was any good in the first place. It shouldn't really matter what you're listening through. The source material is the important thing, not the method of reproduction. If someone prefers a colored reproduction, that is fine. I just don't see how a more transparent reproduction could possibly ruin a piece of music, since that is the way whoever recorded it meant it to be. Then again, maybe it isn't.
    I probably badly stated the point but I am in agreement with what you're saying. A good recording is hard to screw up with most any speaker even ones I don't really like. Accuracy is something most every speaker maker claims to try and achieve - the CBM measures very well but most people I knwo who've heard them call it a tinny irritating mess - but you are mnot going to get that from looking at the graph.

    I happen to support the article written by Leonard Norwitz and peter Qvortrup to determine what is on the recording over going by a measurement that show me a graph that says that a speaker is pretty flat...I have heard dozens and dozens of speakers described as flat or "excellent" measuring "neautral" and "accurate'" without any sort of irrifutable or close evidence to support the notion -- usually reviewed by mags that get all their ad revenue from the maker -- lets see Motortrend calll a pinto anything but a great car.

    It's not all about treble and bass but dynamics as well -- When I was listening where I found the biggest differences in recordings was in the dynamics and pressure the instruments can create in a physical space -- those differences are gigantic across recoprdings and something I have never ever heard from the list of speaker makers provided to me by 3db (and i've heard a great deal from every one of them). Klipsch onterestingly enough has made some that do.

    There is no way to truly know if you are getting accurate sound and certainly no way to reproduce the sound of the recording as the recording engineer intended. And if you did then you certainly could not get it from a second cd you put in your player that was recorded in another country in another room with different speakers different RE's ears etc.

    I can not perfectly accurately recreate the experience of that Recording engineer or live event. If you drive to Canada from Las Vegas at a perfect 100mph all the way and i take the same road and also travel at the identical speed it may be close but if you're in a Bently and I'm on a motorbike -- it ain't the same trip (and I'll be needing hemeroid help).

  15. #15
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    So I guess there is no point to owning Wilson Audios or Apogees or Audio Notes or whatever holy grail speaker you lust for. Why on earth would anyone buy $1000 audio cable? The way you put it, the sound is getting colored at the speaker anyway, so who cares how accurate that colored sound is?

    I agree that accuracy can't necessarily be measured with a freq diagram, and it's true that you can't reproduce the acoustic environment of the recording in your room. I don't think I said anything about 'perfect' replication. The differences in dynamics that you mention is a property of what I consider to be an accurate speaker? How could a speaker be accurate without reproducing these charactaristics? I'm pretty sure we agree with eachother, we just aren't speaking the same language or something. I wasn't talking about a particular speaker or about speaker value either. Yeah I own studio40s, but I don't think they're super amazing or anything. They were my favorite speaker that I listened to that I could afford at the time. I spent $800 on them. Maybe I would have bought some maggies if I had more room. It doesn't matter really. I enjoy the h*ll out of my studio40s. Maybe someday when I have the money and a reason, I'll buy something 'better', something 'more accurate'.
    Maybe I'm mixing up accuracy with precision. I don't know. Stop it RGA, I don't want to get into that other thread agian, you're making my head hurt ! (no comments on that one please GMichael)
    Last edited by bacchanal; 11-18-2005 at 11:16 AM.

  16. #16
    3db
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    Talking yep but

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I probably badly stated the point but I am in agreement with what you're saying. A good recording is hard to screw up with most any speaker even ones I don't really like. Accuracy is something most every speaker maker claims to try and achieve - the CBM measures very well but most people I knwo who've heard them call it a tinny irritating mess - but you are mnot going to get that from looking at the graph.

    I happen to support the article written by Leonard Norwitz and peter Qvortrup to determine what is on the recording over going by a measurement that show me a graph that says that a speaker is pretty flat...I have heard dozens and dozens of speakers described as flat or "excellent" measuring "neautral" and "accurate'" without any sort of irrifutable or close evidence to support the notion -- usually reviewed by mags that get all their ad revenue from the maker -- lets see Motortrend calll a pinto anything but a great car.

    It's not all about treble and bass but dynamics as well -- When I was listening where I found the biggest differences in recordings was in the dynamics and pressure the instruments can create in a physical space -- those differences are gigantic across recoprdings and something I have never ever heard from the list of speaker makers provided to me by 3db (and i've heard a great deal from every one of them). Klipsch onterestingly enough has made some that do.

    There is no way to truly know if you are getting accurate sound and certainly no way to reproduce the sound of the recording as the recording engineer intended. And if you did then you certainly could not get it from a second cd you put in your player that was recorded in another country in another room with different speakers different RE's ears etc.

    I can not perfectly accurately recreate the experience of that Recording engineer or live event. If you drive to Canada from Las Vegas at a perfect 100mph all the way and i take the same road and also travel at the identical speed it may be close but if you're in a Bently and I'm on a motorbike -- it ain't the same trip (and I'll be needing hemeroid help).
    I dunno I prefer the involvemnet of a motorcycle rather than the uninspring ride of a Bentley .

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    This is normal, being the owener of one of the absolute most revealing speakers there are i can tell you one thing. Some recordings may seem bad until you exrtact 100% out of them and see their true magic shine through the rusty exterior.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  18. #18
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacchanal
    So I guess there is no point to owning Wilson Audios or Apogees or Audio Notes or whatever holy grail speaker you lust for. Why on earth would anyone buy $1000 audio cable? The way you put it, the sound is getting colored at the speaker anyway, so who cares how accurate that colored sound is?

    I agree that accuracy can't necessarily be measured with a freq diagram, and it's true that you can't reproduce the acoustic environment of the recording in your room. I don't think I said anything about 'perfect' replication. The differences in dynamics that you mention is a property of what I consider to be an accurate speaker? How could a speaker be accurate without reproducing these charactaristics? I'm pretty sure we agree with eachother, we just aren't speaking the same language or something. I wasn't talking about a particular speaker or about speaker value either. Yeah I own studio40s, but I don't think they're super amazing or anything. They were my favorite speaker that I listened to that I could afford at the time. I spent $800 on them. Maybe I would have bought some maggies if I had more room. It doesn't matter really. I enjoy the h*ll out of my studio40s. Maybe someday when I have the money and a reason, I'll buy something 'better', something 'more accurate'.
    Maybe I'm mixing up accuracy with precision. I don't know. Stop it RGA, I don't want to get into that other thread agian, you're making my head hurt ! (no comments on that one please GMichael)
    Actually precision is one way to seek accuracy -- The article in my tag line is basically just that -- accuracy through seeking precision. The speaker which can discern the most differences over the widest array of recordings is telling you more accurately what is on the recording or the recording methodology -- And this is again a manufacturer's view of how to achieve accuracy and viable and helpful for YOU and ME the listeners since as we both know we are not there in the recording studio -- I was not there when they recorded Let it Be or or when Ray Charles did his thing, or at network when Sarah Mclachlan Recorded -- So it's pointless to try and discover accuracy in those means. I can measure a car in height off the ground and a Ford Excort is Higher than a Ferrari but so what.

    There is a notion that their is a one all catch all accurate sound but since the job of a speaker is to reproduce very unlike recorded discs then a speaker that is most accurate or precise will be the one which can distinguish and dilineate the kind of recordings over a very wide range. that does not at all mean it is prefectly accurate or without weakness or "infallible" but having heard a wide aray of speakers over 15 years of almost every kind of design well hyped or not - that article is created by experience music lovers and reviewers first and equipment makers second - and it certainly applies to other very fine products not made by them.

    It's very enlightening to hear a system with a not to be mentioned cd player that had a significant stamp on the sound across several cds and I initially thought the AN K was bright as a result (indeed, if this was my first experience it would have been my last) and then switch out the player and it what a difference - instead of the stamped on homogeneity of the first player I got a far greater sense of the subtleties offerred up across those same albums. The speaker was telling me the obvious and banal weakness of the first cd player.

    BTW this is hardly stated in any way shape or form as fact -- I'm just relaying what I heard -- There was a time that I thougt Amanda Marshal's first album was badly recording -- I played it on a 50k set-up and the dealer took it out and said it's a very bad recording one of the worst -- then proceeded to put the suped up recording on the set-up (also claiming that placing a quarter on the cd player would alter the sound significantly trying to tell everyone how remarkable it was -- there was no change but he probably conned the interested party that that meant it was so revealing it knew that a quarter's weight would change the sound) There are many albums that are weakly recorded that I own but interestingly I know way more now about their differences than I ever did before but instead of being irritated I'm not - because the differences were not about bass and treble but about far more important things IMO.

  19. #19
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    I dunno I prefer the involvemnet of a motorcycle rather than the uninspring ride of a Bentley .
    Yes but you see there is a driver for you in the Bently -- I'm in back with 4 playmates - the ride is what you make of it

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    "Accuracy is something most every speaker maker claims to try and achieve - the CBM measures very well but most people I knwo who've heard them call it a tinny irritating mess - but you are mnot going to get that from looking at the graph."

    Oh man, you dont know how right that is. These speakers sounded smaller than my old $249.00 PSB Image 2b's. And theyre supposed to be giant killers ha ha! They were also horrendously bright and uninvolving. btw who do u know who heard these?

  21. #21
    RGA
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    A fellow who I worked with at NCompass labs (which was purchased by Microsoft) the day I started working there (hey I should put this on my resume). He actually was the guy who told me about Antique Sound Labs about 5 years ago. I can;t put you through to him because he was one of those friendly work acquantenances and I only worked there through the summer. I ran into him at a mall in North Vancouver and we got into a fairly lengthy chat about audio. And this was around the time when the CBM was mentioned a fair bit -- he's one of those audiophiles who constantly buys and sells stuff and is a bit more about the Sonics over the music. He didn't like the treble and felt they were lightweight in the bass.

    It's too bad I fell out of touch because he had similar tastes that I do - same headphones and headphone amp -- though he upgraded to a much more expensive head amp (he listened at work on the rig).

    Headphones are a great equalizer and so my goal was to listen to stonkingly expensive and considered some of the best going and then find a speaker that could match the best headphoens on their terms (or better them) and then add what speakers do well to the mix when buying speakers. It takes a good speaker to completely destroy the HD 600s AKG 1000, and then quite a speaker to not be betterred by the big Stax and orpheus rigs. Headphones have inherent disadvantages of course but to get the clarity at the lsitening position in room I had never experienced from speakers in the four years I was auditioning speakers.

    My set-up allows me real time A/B comparisons with the HD 600 and the main rig. So I can play a cd and merely take the cans off my head and flip one switch to continue playing through the main speakers.

    When you can actually get to the point where you don't play the HD 600 because they are totally outclassed in every way then you're finding something real good IMO. In fact so ouclassed are my HD 600s that I run the rig as computer headphones - 1/4 pin to rca jacks to the ASL head and then run the apple Itunes radio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db
    I threw a comment in there where I fail to understand why some listeners didn't like a neutral speaker. Pat D came back where he witnessed people preferring colored speakers over those that were neutral. I guess to each their own..But this got me thinking,, If a speaker is so accurate and so neutral, I could see alot of existing recordings start to irritate listeners due to poor recording quality. So suddenly, "the collection" has shrunk considerably.

    a.) Has anyone expereinced this?
    b.) If the answer to a is "yes", where you able to reconcile yourself to just listen to the music for music's sake rather then listen to "definiton, coloruation, accurcay"
    c.) has down grading to a less accurate speaker become an option so that you could get the 'collection" back again?

    Just curious
    There's no accounting for taste, they say. Still, research at the National Research Council in Ottawa has shown that under blind conditions most people like pretty much the same characteristics in speakers, notably flat midrange, wide and even response both on and off axis, and low distortion. This still leaves the designer considerable leeway. This research determined what sonic characteristics people like in speakers but it is perhaps remarkable that they are pretty close to accuracy in many respects.

    But most auditions are not done under blind conditions and so there are also sorts of biases that come into play. Many people have heard of Bose, and by gosh, it sounds a lot better than what they've got, so they buy it and are happy . . . Lets face it--even Bose speakers are better than a lot of department store stuff from Yorx or Lloyds, etc.

    As well, people often have some idea what a speaker is 'supposed' to sound like and they also like to make snap decisions. So they don't audition enough. Then, there is the 'deal.' Some people buy something if they can get a 'deal,' even though someone more knowledgeable might be able to get better sound for less. Anyway, once they've got the system there is no use criticizing it--you'll only cause bad feelings. "Wonderful! I'm glad you like it." You can say something nice without lying.

    As for recordings sounding too, well, I see no reason to buy speakers that sound unpleasant with most of my recordings. When I auditioned the Paradigm S2 and S8, I tried a number of recordings and they all sounded pretty good. As someone else mentioned, I also find that better speakers often make most of my recordings sound better. Had my dealer been able to get a pair in for audition when I was in the buying mode, I might have bought them. As it was, I had already auditioned a very nice pair of speakers which I knew I could live with. And, if I ever replace them, I could easily move them down to the TV room.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  23. #23
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    Yeah, headphones are a good compromise. I recently purchased some $20 Sennheisers ( HD201) and they actually sound pretty good, especially for movies since theres no room to muddy the dialogue. They arent the best for music though, just ok. I miss having a decent pair of monitors since speakers are really the only way to go if you want the music to be in front of you. Hopefully my brother will finally move out again so I can have a small dedicated stereo room and some decent speakers.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    The issue here is that plenty of recordings simply are not optimized for playback on a neutral sounding rig. I grew up with a pair of JBL L65s, which readily reveal their inaccuracies and colorations. But, throw some 70s classic rock (much of which was mixed and mastered using JBL 4311 studio monitors) on the turntable, and that music sounds sweeter than anything that the more neutral sounding British speakers of that era could conjure up. It didn't matter if they weren't neutral sounding, because the music was not designed to sound best on a neutral sounding system.

    And more recently, a lot of pop recordings from the late-80s and 90s were mixed and mastered using the Yamaha NS-10. Is this because of the NS-10's neutrality and accuracy? Hardly. It may not be neutral sounding, but it does provide the sound engineer with a great platform from which to assess how a recording might sound when played through car audio systems, PC speakers, sub/sat systems, or mini systems. Those playback chains might be inferior to high resolution component systems, but they are what the vast majority of pop music consumers actually use.

    How these recordings sound on a more neutral sounding speaker can be hit and miss. If it sounds equally good on a high end system, car audio system, and mini system, that's not necessarily by design, but more by accident.

    People will buy speakers based on their preferences, and there are many dimensions of performance to look out for. Since there are no perfect speakers out there, it basically comes down to which tradeoffs you're willing to make within your budget, and how these preferred characteristics mesh with the music that you generally listen to.

  25. #25
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    If I am listening to speakers and noticing its imaging or soundstaging or sound rather than noticing the music then I won't be buying those speakers - i expect that those aspects of music reproduction will be comeptantly handled and mostly it is. The reason so much attention is focussed on two or three things to the exclusion of the other myriad of things in music replay is that that is largely all that the major speaker makers can offer up. If I have to buy speakers I have to turn up to make things out, and if the only good things I can mention is that I get the same kinda sound whether I sit dead center or 30 degrees off axis then that to me is like beiung impressed by a car that starts and will actually move forward at 4 kph. I am not wowed by this.
    Well, keep in mind that the imaging and the soundstaging are an integral part of the music. It's not something that all speakers handle well. The speakers that can image precisely and throw a wide soundstage are reproducing facets of the recording that were intended to work seamlessly with other things like the tonal balance and the dynamics. If anything, you ARE focusing on "two or three things to the exclusion of the other myriad of things" when you start using phrases like "noticing its imaging or soundstaging or sound rather than noticing the music," you're making it sound like the imaging/soundstaging are to the detiment of the music, when the exact opposite is true. The whole point is that people who view the imaging and soundstaging as an integral part of their enjoyment of music will notice if those aspects of the sound event are not rendered properly.

    Imaging is not about whether you're sitting in the center or 30 degrees off-axis, it's about rendering the sound event as accurately as possible, and placing the points where the sound originates as precisely as possible. It doesn't matter if you're "wowed" by something or not -- the imaging and the soundstaging are vital to recreating a live sound event, because those facets are part of the experience when you listen to something live.

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